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Robert L. Grayson, Ph.D., Named First Associate Director for Mining Safety, Health Research

NIOSH Update:

October, 1997

Robert L. (Larry) Grayson, Ph.D., a professor and mining engineer with extensive experience in conducting and managing mine safety and health research and educational programs, was named the first permanent Associate Director of Mining at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), effective Nov. 3, 1997.

Grayson will have responsibility for activities at NIOSH’s mining research laboratories in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Spokane, Wash., and for coordination of mining research throughout the institute. NIOSH, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, last year became the lead federal institute for research and training in mine safety and health with the acquisition of the Pittsburgh and Spokane facilities, formerly part of the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

“Miners are some of America’s most dedicated workers in one of the country’s most important and most hazardous industries,” said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H. “Dr. Grayson will play a key role in our revitalization of the nation’s mine safety research at a time of great challenge and opportunity for the industry.”

Prior to his appointment to NIOSH, Grayson was professor of mining engineering at the School of Mines and Metallurgy, University of Missouri at Rolla. He has also served as a professor of mining engineering at the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, and as chair of the West Virginia Mine Inspectors’ Examining Board. He holds a Ph.D. degree in engineering from West Virginia University, with a major in engineering of mines.

Grayson’s accomplishments have included the co-founding of the West Virginia Small Mines Assistance Center, which provides training and other safety interventions to prevent injuries in small mines. He has also developed new methodologies for identifying miners at high risk of injury, and analyzing respirable dust particles in mines. At West Virginia University, he established the first mine health and safety laboratory in a U.S. university mining department.

Grayson is author of more than 80 technical publications covering coal dust, ground control, mine ventilation, and other issues critical to mining safety and health, including new computer research applications. He also has worked as a coal miner and as a mine foreman, engineer, and superintendent.

NIOSH was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and is the only federal institute mandated to conduct workplace safety and health research and training.

Further information on NIOSH and its mining research program is available by calling the NIOSH toll-free information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674). Further information also is available on the institute’s home page on the World Wide Web,